This past December I was fortunate enough to score a spot on a cozy couch at one of Alexandra Franzen’s Write Yourself Into Motion workshops (if you have a chance to attend one – GO!). Nestled next to me was Shannon Wilkinson, a life-coach that is all about making change easy and fun. I didn’t know she was a life coach when I sat down. What I knew was that she radiated positive energy and joy. What I knew is that she was delightfully grounded in her body and at home in her skin.
After talking (and laughing) with her over the two days we spent together I discovered that she has some very rare superpowers that we could all benefit from…and that make her a deeply well-fed woman. Using her training in coaching, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and hypnosis (no she did not hypnotize me into writing about her…I don’t think) Shannon makes breaking through our mental conditioning (i.e. stories about why we can’t do something or why it’s too hard, etc.) and into the actions we want to be taking. You can find her at the fittingly named Perception Studios. I’m seriously considering hiring her and I don’t say that often. Enjoy…
Connection. I hunger for connection with others. Seeing and being seen. I hunger for connection with nature, with things bigger than me. Mountains, oceans, skies, clouds, forests. I hunger for connection with myself. Ease and adaptability, knowing what I really want.
Smiles and laughter. Encouragement. Perhaps that’s why many people feel comfortable with me and tell me things. They don’t know why these things are important, and these things often seem disparate and unrelated. But to me, they make sense. I understand the connections, see the possibilities. When I make these connections, I know how to untangle any unwanted patterns, where to make the shift with ease, bring hope and possibility back into the most difficult of situations.
When I was little I loved trying to keep up with my older brothers. I liked pushing myself in school and sports. I liked working really hard and doing my best. But then something happened. I only wanted to do things I was pretty damn sure I could do well. I didn’t want to risk making mistakes. I didn’t want to do things that were too hard.Later, as I delved into the personal development field, the whole being gentle and kind to yourself thing pushed me further away from that desire to challenge myself and push hard.In my late 30’s, I rediscovered my love for pushing hard, for having an I-don’t-know-if-I-can-do-this, kind of challenge in my life. Since then I’ve done things I never imagined possible for me. More importantly, I do it with complete kindness for myself, without overdoing it. It may be uncomfortable, but I’m not hurting myself. I’m not burning out. Instead, I’m finding greater ease, and letting go of fears and worries that are irrelevant in the face of true challenges.
The last slice of holiday pumpkin pie on the summit of Mt. Saint Helens on New Year’s Day. Everything tastes better when you’ve climbed a mountain before eating it.